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Sociology

COMMUNICATION, CRISIS, AND CRITIQUE IN CONTEMPORARY CAPITALISM

Communication, Crisis, and Critique in Contemporary Capitalism
Conference of the European Sociological Association’s Research Network 18 – Sociology of Communications and Media Research

October 18-20, 2012.

University of the Basque Country, Bilbao

Details: http://fuchs.uti.at/wp-content/uploads/ESA_RN18_CfP2012.pdf

Keynote Talk: Professor Peter Golding (Northumbria University,UK) – Why a Sociologist should take Communications and Media Seriously

Abstract
In the presentation of this paper, Peter Golding will reflect on why the study of communications and media demands the insights and methods of sociology, and why RN18 therefore is an appropriate network within the European Sociological Association. He will present reflections on how such key sociological concerns as inequality, identity, power, and change are at the heart of the questions we should be posing in addressing the nature and role of the media as institutions and communications as a social process. The paper will also address how far changes in the technologies of media and communications alter, or should alter, our approach to generating research and insight in this field.
Peter Golding is pro-vice chancellor of research & innovation at Northumbria University, founder and honorary chair of ESA RN18.

Call for Submissions and Participation
We are living in times of global capitalist crisis that require rethinking the ways we organize society, communication, the media, and our lives. The current crisis seems to a certain degree be different compared to previous ones, among other reasons due to the role of mediated communication and information in establishing/changing economic, political, and social relations as well as the crisis itself. The crisis can also be seen as crisis of what has been called consumer capitalism or informational capitalism. More precisely it has resulted on the one hand in a hyper-neoliberal intensification of neo-conservative policies and on the other hand in the emergence of new popular movements that are critical of the commodification of everything and demand the strengthening of society’s commons. The second movement has in the social sciences been accompanied by a renewed interest in critical studies, the critique and analysis of class and capitalism, and critical political economy. The overall goal of this conference is to foster scholarly presentations, networking, and exchange on the question of which transitions media and communication and media sociology are undergoing in contemporary society. The conference particularly welcomes contributions that are inspired by sociological theories, critical studies, and various strands and traditions of the critical study of media & society.

Questions that can be covered by presentations include, but are not limited to:

* What is a crisis? What forms of crisis are there? How do they relate to capitalism and communication?

* How have the media presented the crisis? Which similarities and differences in crisis reporting are there between different media (television, press, and new media) or between media in different countries?

* How has the crisis affected various media and cultural industries? What is the role of changing media technology in the economic crisis? How has the media economy changed since the start of the crisis in 2008? How have advertising investments, profits, market values, etc developed in the media economy since the start of the crisis? How has the global expansion of media industries been reshaped by the crisis and what is the future of global media and news agencies? What changes can be traced in the production of news and other media content? Are there changes in the nature of media products?

* What is the role of media and communication technologies in the financialization, acceleration, and globalization of the capitalist economy? How can a post-crisis media economy look like? How has advertising favoured a climate of private consumer debt?

* What are the ideological implications of the crisis for mediascapes? Which ideological discourses do companies, CEOs, managers, or neoliberal politicians use for justifying their interests, lay-offs, high bonuses, inequalities, etc and how are these discourses represented by the media or in strategic company reports? How are hyper-neoliberal crisis policy responses (“socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor” in the form of bank bail outs and budget cuts in areas like welfare, education, social security, health care, etc) ideologically justified and how do the media represent such ideologies? What is the role of finance capital in the media and cultural industries? Which hegemonic, alternative, or contradictory interpretations and reception practices of media content that relates to the crisis are there? Which ideologies and myths underlie the capitalist crisis?

* What is the role of media, communication, critical journalism, and alternative media in contemporary uproars, riots, rebellions, social movements, protests, demonstrations, and revolutions?

* How do identities and mediated identities change in times of crisis? How should one think about the relationship of economy and culture in light of the capitalist crisis? What is the relationship of class and identities and of politics of redistribution and recognition today? How do we have to rethink and reshape the relation between political economy and cultural studies in the light of capitalist crisis in order to adequately study the media and communication?

* How is the public sphere changing in the light of the global crisis? What are perspectives for politics, participation, and democracy today and how do these perspectives relate to the media and communication? Is the role of media in democracy changing? If so, how? Are media a distinct player in politics? If the established media form an estate of power in democracy, do we today new a new estate of power? If so, how could it look like?

* What are the causes, realities, and consequences of the commodification of the communication commons? What are alternatives to the commodification of the communication commons? How can one strengthen and create public media and commons-based forms of communication? What are the relationships and differences between the commodity logic, the gift logic, and the logic of public goods and how do these logics shape the media?

* How do contemporary societal trends, such as integration, diversity and conflicts in Europe and the world, transnationalism and networking, digitization, informatization, globalization, glocalization, prosumption, neoliberalism, privatization and commodification, migration, racism, changing gender relations, consumer and advertising culture, warfare, terrorism, the new imperialism, surveillance, social movement protests, global societal risks, the strengthening of right-wing extremist and fascist movements, or the anti-corporate movement and other movements, shape media and communication and how do media and communication in turn shape society in times of crisis and transition?

* What are the tasks, roles, responsibilities, and identities of the sociology of media and communication in a society that is facing deep crisis? What is the actual or potential role of critique, ethics, struggles, counter-power, resistance, protest, civil society, and social movements in contemporary societies and contemporary communications?

* What are the major trends that shape contemporary society and how are these trends related to mediated communication and knowledge production? In what society do we live? What society do we desire to have? What forms of media and communication do we find in contemporary society? What forms of media and communication do we desire and how must society change in order to achieve these goals?

* What are the major trends in respect to crisis, communication, and critique in Europe? What are the major trends in respect to crisis, communication, and critique in other parts of the world?

* How do different companies and organizations make use of different information transmission technologies? What is the role of high speed financial flows and associated transmission networks in the finance industry? How (in)visible are these flows?

Submission

An abstract of 200-250 words should be sent to Dr. Romina Surugiu, University of Bucharest, at the following e-mail address: bilbao.conference@yahoo.com. Please insert the words Bilbao in the subject. The deadline for abstract submission is May 31st 2012. 

**END**

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

‘Maximum levels of boredom

Disguised as maximum fun’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Stagnant’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLjxeHvvhJQ (live, at the Belle View pub, Bangor, north Wales)  

‘Human Herbs’ – a new remix and new video by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

‘Stagnant’ – a new remix and new video by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkP_Mi5ideo  

‘Cheerful Sin’ – a song by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIbX5aKUjO8

‘The Lamb’ by William Blake – set to music by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vw3VloKBvZc

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Online Publications at: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/glenn.rikowski

Capitalism IS Crisis

PROSPERITY FOR THEM AND AUSTERITY FOR US

The Crisis of Capitalism & Resistance from Below

A public forum with Joel Geier, Marxist economist and associate editor of International Socialist Review magazine

Thursday, Feb 3rd • 7-9pm

Grace Place • 637 S. Dearborn Street

Around the world, economies are being wrecked by crisis. In addition to the trillions of dollars handed over to Wall Street, the governments of Ireland, Greece, and Portugal required similar bailouts while Spain and Italy are also seeking a way out of the financial crisis.

Of course, working class people everywhere are being forced to pay for the crisis; through joblessness, wage-cuts, and the slashing of social services. Likewise, these austerity programs have provoked fightbacks from hundreds of thousands of workers and students across Europe. And in Tunisia and Egypt, people have overthrown the bloated, corrupt governments that oversaw skyrocketing food and housing prices.

But, how can we understand the roots of the crisis; beyond the soundbites, headlines, and lies? Hear Joel Geier, a long-time Marxist economist, discuss the evolving crisis and prospects for global capitalism.

See: http://ChicagoSocialists.org

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Crisis Sublime

HISTORICAL MATERIALISM CONFERENCE 2010 – REGISTRATION ON THE DOOR

PREREGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED FOR THE CONFERENCE. HOWEVER YOU CAN COME 
AND REGISTER ON THE DOOR, THURSDAY THROUGH TO SUNDAY

Registration desk is at SOAS, Thornhaugh Square, Russell Square Underground station.

Thursday at 12:00

Friday at 9.00

Saturday at 9.00

Sunday at 9.00

All those who cannot afford the suggested unwaged contribution rate, or who only wish to attend a few sessions, should come to registration to discuss a fair contribution.

‘Crisis and Critique’: Historical Materialism Annual London Conference 2010

Central London, Thursday 11th to Sunday 14th November

Provisional Programme Now Available online: http://www.historicalmaterialism.org/conferences/annual7

Notwithstanding repeated invocations of the ‘green shoots of recovery’, the effects of the economic crisis that began in 2008 continue to be felt around the world. While some central tenets of the neoliberal project have been called into question, bank bailouts, cuts to public services and attacks on working people’s lives demonstrate that the ruling order remains capable of imposing its agenda. Many significant Marxist analyses have already been produced of the origins, forms and prospects of the crisis, and we look forward to furthering these debates at HM London 2010. We also aim to encourage dialogue between the critique of political economy and other modes of criticism – ideological, political, aesthetic, philosophical – central to the Marxist tradition.

In the 1930s, Walter Benjamin and Bertolt Brecht projected a journal to be called ‘Crisis and Critique’. In very different times, but in a similar spirit, HM London 2010 aims to serve as a forum for dialogue, interaction and debate between different strands of critical-Marxist theory. Whether their focus is the study of the capitalist mode of production’s theoretical and practical foundations, the unmasking of its ideological forms of legitimation or its political negation, we are convinced that a renewed and politically effective Marxism will need to rely on all the resources of critique in the years ahead.

Crises produce periods of ideological and political uncertainty. They are moments that put into question established cognitive and disciplinary compartmentalisations, and require a recomposition at the level of both theory and practice. HM London 2010 hopes to contribute to a broader dialogue on the Left aimed at such a recomposition, one of whose prerequisites remains the young Marx’s call for the ‘ruthless criticism of all that exists’.

Themes discussed by the Conference include: Activism * Adorno: Philosophy, Aesthetics, Politics * Aesthetics of Crisis * Art and Activism * Althusser and the Aleatory Encounter I: Conceptual Aspects * Althusser and the Aleatory Encounter II: Philosophical Contrasts * Applying Value Theory * Approaching Passive Revolutions * Art in Neoliberalism * The Arts and Capitalist Triumphant: American Culture in the 1940s * Between Political Economy and Political Struggles *  Beyond What Is and Isn’t to Be Done: The Question of Organisation Today * Biocapitalism * Bolshevik History * Book Launch: Jairus Banaji’s Theory as History * Capital and the Crisis of Nature * Capitalism, Labour, Photography * Centenary of Hilferding’s Finance Capital * China: Internal Struggles and External Perceptions * Class, Gender, Crisis: The Attack on Public Services and Welfare * Class and Nation in the Middle East * Climate Change and Ecological Crisis: Law, Gender, Technology * Commodities, Labour and Space * Conjuncture, Contingency and Overdetermination * The Contemporary Global Economy (Marx and the ‘Global South’ 1) * Crisis and Accumulation in Asia * Crisis of Representation: Philosophy, Politics, Aesthetics * Crisis in Greece, Crisis in the Eurozone * The Crisis this Time * Commons and Commonwealths * Commons and Communism, Past and Present * Confronting the Right * Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism * Death and Utopia: Bloch and Benjamin * Dependency and Exploitation in Latin America * Dimensions of the Crisis: History, Finance, and the Labour Process * Energy and Crisis * The End of Old and New Labour: What’s Left? * Eurozone Crisis: Causes and Ways Out * Feminism and the Critique of Political Economy * Financial Capital Before and After the Crisis * Financialisation: Theory and Practice * Forgotten Space: Capitalism and the Sea * Forms of Working-Class Resistance * From Crisis To Crises: Marxist Perspectives On Latin America In The Global Economy * From Crisis of Capitalism to Crisis of the Public Sector * Gender, Labour and the Future of Feminism * Geographies of Crisis and Critique I * Geographies of Crisis and Critique II * German Crises * Georg Lukács and the Aspiration Towards Totality * Gramsci * Historical Materialism, Universal History, and East Asia * Histories of Workers’ Struggles * The Ideology of the ‘Big Society’ * Imperialism: History and Theory * Intellectuals, Public Discourse and Education * International Relations, Militarism and Modes of Foreign Relations * Japanese and Western Marxism * Korsch, Lefebvre and Hegelian Marxism * Labour and Migration * Labour Power and the Marxian Analytics of Crisis * Latin America, Resistance and Political Economy * Legacies of Bolshevism * Lenin, Luxemburg and the Russian Revolution * Limits of Citizenship and Democracy * Managing Crisis: Fair Trade, Cooperatives,  Degrowth * Marx Against Eurocentrism (Marx and the ‘Global South’ 2) * Marx and Critique * Marxian Investigations * Marxism and Geopolitics * Marxism and International Law * Marxism and Politics Today * Marxism and Theories of Politics * Marxist Theories of Finance and Risk * Marxist Theory and Cultural Politics * Marx for Our Times * Marx, Normativity, Justice * Marx’s Capital and the Development of Capitalism Today * Music and Resistance * Neoliberalism and World Cinema: A Double Take * Palestine and Global Justice: Current and Historic Challenges for the Left * Poetics, Painting, Politics * Political Ecology in a Time of Crisis * Political Economy and Value Theory * The Politics and Political Economy of the Media * The Politics of Housing * Profit and the Crisis * Radicalism in Contemporary Art and Literature * Red October: Left-Indigenous Struggles in Modern Bolivia * Rethinking the State * Rosa Luxemburg  and the Critique of Political Economy * Screening: Comuna Under Construction * Servicing the Crisis * Sex in Crisis * Slavery and American Capitalism * Stasis, Contradiction, Hostility * Strategies for Art Today I * Strategies for Art Today II * Theorising the Crisis I * Theorising the Crisis II * Theorising the Crisis III * The Transformation of Chinese Marxism * Ultra-Leftism, Insurrection, and the City * Useless But True: Economic Crisis and the Peculiarities of Economic Science * Value and Struggles in China * Varieties of Capitalism I * Varieties of Capitalism II * Violence and Non-Violence * Walter Benjamin and Anthropological Materialism * Walter Benjamin and the Critique of Violence * Whither Feminism? * Who Rules the World? Contemporary Views on Ruling and Capitalist Classes * Workers, the Union Movement and the Crisis * Workers’ Self-Management and Alternative Work Organisation I * Workers’ Self-Management and Alternative Work Organization II * The Working Class after Neoliberalism: From the World to the East End of Glasgow * The Work of Daniel Bensaid *

Speakers include: Greg Albo * Bueno Aldo * Görkem Akgöz * Idris Akkuzu * Donatella Alessandrini * Anne Alexander * Jamie Allinson * Elmar Altvater * Marko Ampuja * James Anderson * Kevin Anderson * Alex Anievas * Caroline Arscott * Sam Ashman * John Ashworth * Tara Atluri * Maurizio Atzeni * Antonio Azevedo * Dario Azzellini * Abigail Bakan * Jeff Bale * Jairus Banaji * Laurent Baronian * Luca Basso * Amita Baviskar * Wesley Baxter * Dave Beech * Riccardo Bellofiore * Aaron Benanav * Marc Berdet * Janis Berzins * Beverley Best * Brenna Bhandar * Alain Bihr * Cyrus Bina * Robin Blackburn * Paul Blackledge * Joost de Bloois * Iain Boal * Roland Boer * Armando Boito * Patrick Bond * Bill Bowring * Chris Boyd * Umut Bozkurt * Honor Brabazon * Craig Brandist * Pepijn Brandon * Lutz Brangsch * Colm Breathnach * Peter Brogan * Heather Brown * Sebastian Budgen * Jonah Butovsky * Alex Callinicos * Liam Campling * Bob Cannon * Thomas Carmichael * The Carrot Workers Collective * Warren Carter * Noel Castree * Aude de Caunes * Maria Elisa Cevasco * Giorgio Cesarale * Sharad Chari * Matthew Charles * François Chesnais * Danielle Child * Christopher Chitty * Joseph Choonara * John Clegg * Perci Coelho * Sheila Cohen * Alejandro Colás * Nathan Coombs * John Cooper * Luke Cooper * Gareth Dale * Neil Davidson * Chuck Davis * Tim Dayton * Shane Deckard * Radhika Desai * Li Dianlai * Katja Diefenbach * Angela Dimitrakaki * James Dunkerley * Bill Dunn * Cedric Durand * Nick Dyer-Witheford * Caroline Edwards * Steve Edwards * Evie Embrechts * Katsuhiko Endo * Theresa Enright * Adam Fabry * Mauro Farnesi Camellone * Sara Farris * David Featherstone * Romain Felli * Oliver Feltham * David Fernbach * Michele Filippini * Ben Fine * Eoin Flaherty * Paul Flenley * Keith Flett * Kirsten Forkert * Des Freedman * Alan Freeman * James Furner * Nicola Fusaro * Jin Gao * Lindsey German * M.A. Gonzalez * Sara Gonzalez * James Goodman * Jamie Gough * Nicolas Grinberg * Agon Hamza  * Adam Hanieh * Bue Rübner Hansen * Jane Hardy * Lea Haro * Barnaby Harran * Barbara Harriss-White * Johan Hartle * Dan Hartley * Mike Haynes * Amrit Heer * Paul Heideman * Christoph Hermann * Chris Hesketh * Andy Higginbottom * Jan Hoff * John Holloway * Charlie Hore * Nik Howard * Peter Hudis * Ian Hussey * Ursula Huws * Anthony Iles * Ozlem Ingun * Robert Jackson * Dhruv Jain * Sang-Hwan Jang * Anselm Jappe * Olivier Jelinski * Heesang Jeon * Seongjin Jeong * Jonny Jones * Jyotsna Kapur * Marina Kaneti * Ioannis Kaplanis * Elif Karacimen * Rebecca Karl * Ken Kawashima * Alexander Keller Hirsch * Mark Kelly * Anneleen Kenis * Paul Kellogg * Christiane Ketteler * Sami Khatib * Jim Kincaid * Don Kingsbury * Stathis Kouvelakis * Sam Knafo * Juha Koivisto * Stathis Kouvelakis * Michael R. Krätke * Clarice Kuhling * Alexi Kukuljevic * Anne E. Lacsamana * Mikko Lahtinen * Ishay Landa * Costas Lapavitsas * Amanda Latimer * Nick Lawrence * Philippe Lege * Emanuele Leonardi * Esther Leslie * Alex Levant * Les Levidow * Iren Levina * Norman Levine * Ben Lewis * Aiyun Liang * Lars Lih * Jacob Carlos Lima * Por-Yee Lin * Duncan Lindo * Nicola Livingstone * Alex Loftus * Domenico Losurdo * Nikos Lountos * David Mabb * Denis Mäder * Yahya Madra * F.T.C. Manning * Paula Marcelino * Fábio Marvulle *  Pierre Matari * Paul Mattick * Patricia McCafferty * Daniel McCarthy * Andrew McGettigan * David McNally * James Meadway * Eileen Meehan * Antigoni Memou * Zhang Meng * David Michalski * China Miéville * Owen Miller * Seamus Milne * Andrew Milner * Dimitris Milonakis * Gautam Mody * Simon Mohun * Kim Moody * Colin Mooers * Michael Moran * Vittorio Morfino * Adam David Morton * Avigail Moss * Sara Motta * Tadzio Mueller * Sara Murawski * Douglas Murphy * Mary Jo Nadeau * Yutaka Nagahara * Immanuel Ness * Susan Newman * Michael Niblett *  Stephen Norrie * Benjamin Noys * Sebnem Oguz * Francisco Ojeda * Chris O’Kane * Kosuke Oki * Ken Olende * Ozlem Onaran * Ahmet Öncü * Ozgur Orhangazi * Judith Orr * Reecia Orzeck * Ceren Ozselcuk * Leo Panitch * Giorgos Papafragkou * Rose Parfitt * Mark Paschal * Jody Patterson * Laurie Penny * He Ping * Simon Pirani * Charles Post * Nina Power * Gonzalo Pozo-Martin * Lucia Pradella * Tim Pringle * Toni Prug * Muriel Pucci * Besnik Pula * Thomas Purcell * Sam Putinja * Uri Ram * Gene Ray * Jason Read * John Rees * Oliver Ressler * Felicita Reuschling * Larry Reynolds * John Roberts * John Michael Roberts * William Roberts * Ed Rooksby * Sadi dal Rosso * Christina Rousseau * Giorgos Sagriotis * Spyros Sakellaropoulos * Gregory Schwartz * David Schwartzman * Ian J. Seda-Irizarry * Ben Selwyn * Richard Seymour * Greg Sharzer * Greg Shollette * Jan Sieber * Oishik Sircar * Murray E.G. Smith * John Smith * Jeffrey Sommers * Panagiotis Sotiris * Michalis Spourdalakis * Kerstin Stakemeier * Julian Stallabrass * Guido Starosta * Engelbert Stockhammer * Robert Stolz * Ted Stolze * Kendra Strauss * Bronislaw Szerszynski * Jeff Tan * Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor * Kampagiannis Thanassis * Tzuchien Tho * Martin Thomas * Peter Thomas * Peter Thompson * Hillel Herschel Ticktin * Vladimir Tikhonov * Oxana Timofeeva * Bruno Tinel * Tania Toffanin * Massimiliano Tomba * Stavros Tombazos * George Tomlinson * Samo Tomsic * Jan Toporowski * Alberto Toscano * Nicos Trimikliniotis * Ben Trott * Pei Kuei Tsai * Alan Tuckman * Deborah Tudor * Lori Turner * Alexej Ulbricht * Steve Vallance * Giovanna Vertova * Marina Vishmidt * Keith Wagner * Hilary Wainwright * Gavin Walker * Andrew Warstat * Ben Watson * Michael Watts * Mike Wayne * Alexis Wearmouth * Jeffery R. Webber * John Weeks * Brian Whitener * Evan Calder Williams * Frieder Otto Wolf * Xinwang Wu * Wu Xinwei * Galip Yalman * Faruk Yalvaç * Eddie Yuen * Rafeef  Ziadah * Mislav Zitko *

END

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Wavering on Ether: http://blog.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com